All posts filed under “Gadgets

Some interesting projects (Part 2)

Some interesting projects (Part 2)

Following on from Part 1, here are a couple more very interesting student projects linking design and behaviour. This time, both involve providing feedback on the impact or costs of everyday behaviours in order to get people to think. Tim Holley’s Tio project, developed in […]

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Some interesting projects (Part 1)

Some interesting projects (Part 1)

I’ve come across some interesting student projects at various shows and exhibitions this summer, some of which address the relationship between design and people’s behaviour in different situations, and some of which explicitly aim to influence what people do and think. Here’s a selection (Part […]

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Angular measure

Angular measure

A few years ago I went to a talk at the RCA by Alex Lee, president of OXO International. Apart from a statistic about how many bagel-slicing finger-chopping accidents happen each year in New York city, what stuck in my mind were the angled measuring […]

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Exploiting the desire for order

Exploiting the desire for order

I met a lot of remarkable people in Finland, and some of them – they know who they are – have given me a lot to think about, in a good way, about lots of aspects of life, psychology and its relation to design. Thanks […]

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Lights reminding you to turn things off

Lights reminding you to turn things off

Duncan Drennan, who writes the very thoughtful Art of Engineering blog, notes something extremely interesting: standby lights, if they’re annoying/visible enough, can actually motivate users to switch the device off properly: Our DVD player has (to me) the most irritating standby light that I have […]

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Full, tilt

Full, tilt

Jan Hoekstra’s Balancing Bowls for Royal VKB (via Boing Boing) are an interesting ‘portion control/guidance’ solution – as Cory Doctorow puts it: The tilt is tiny, all of 3 degrees, and the net effect is very satisfying — you gradually add snacks to the “light” […]

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Do you really need to print that?

Do you really need to print that?

This is not difficult to do, once you know how. Of course, it’s not terribly useful, since a) most people don’t read the display on a printer unless an error occurs, or b) you’re only likely to see it once you’ve already sent something to […]

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Water on the membrane

Water on the membrane

The Cranfield/Electrolux Smart Sink – photo from Trespassers by Ed van Hinte and Conny Bakker. Ten years ago, teams from Cranfield University and Electrolux Industrial Design collaborated on an ‘eco-kitchen’, a family of related concepts for a kitchen of the future. Part of the intention […]

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Biting Apple

Biting Apple

Interesting to see the BBC’s summary of the current iPhone update story: “Apple issues an update which damages iPhones that have been hacked by users”. I’m not sure that’s quite how Apple’s PR people would have put it, but it’s interesting to see that whoever […]

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On the level

On the level

A tilt-detector from this 1984 US patent, with intended application on a packing box. The liquid detection stickers in mobile phones, which allow manufacturers and retailers to ascertain if a phone has got wet, and thus reject warranty claims (whether judiciously/appropriately or not), seem to […]

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Dishonourable discharge?

Dishonourable discharge?

Long overdue, I’m currently reading Bruce Schneier‘s excellent Beyond Fear, and realising that in many ways, security thinking overlaps with architectures of control: the goal of so many systems is to control users’ behaviour or to deny the user the ability to perform certain actions. […]

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Making energy use visible

Making energy use visible

Photos courtesy of Harry Ward We’ve looked recently at water taps with meters built in, the thinking being the ‘speedometer’ approach to shaping users’ behaviour – making users aware of the scale/rate/level of some activity should cause them to adjust that behaviour. A number of […]

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Another charging opportunity?

Another charging opportunity?

Last month, an Apple patent application was published describing a method of “Protecting electronic devices from extended unauthorized use” – effectively a ‘charging rights management’ system. New Scientist and OhGizmo have stories explaining the system; while the stated intention is to make stolen devices less […]

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Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Image from Miquel Mora’s website We’ve looked before at a number of technologies and products aimed at ‘preventing’ photography and image recording in some way, from censoring photographs of ‘copyrighted content’ and banknotes, to Georgia Tech’s CCD-flooding system. Usually these systems are about locking out […]

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Changing behaviour: water meter taps

Changing behaviour: water meter taps

Three student projects on show at Made in Brunel earlier this month took the idea of moving the function of a water meter to the tap (faucet) itself, to act as a ‘speedometer‘ and thus encourage users to reduce their water usage (or wastage). The […]

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